If KMart improves as a pass catcher his NFL stock will soar. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

News, Notes, and Thoughts from Spartan Football

So, this week’s question…Now that Tressel is out…If the OSU job is offered, will MD take it??…Thanks, Pete in Midland.

I can’t tell you how many variations of this question I got this week. First, Mark is 100% loyal to our mutual friend Jim Tressel. I do not think he would take the job or even talk to them without Tressel’s blessing. IF OSU called and he had the blessing of Tressel, I do believe he would listen. As to the question of whether or not he would take it, had it come at a time that Tressel was retiring I would think the percentage would be much higher. Considering the situation, I would doubt that he would. I have maintained for three years that I believe Mark would only listen to two schools about he being their head coach and OSU has always been one of those two.

Hondo, I see that Jerel Worthy is getting a lot of attention nationally. Does he have any weaknesses? Ed in Mason

Ed, I really like Jerel. In fact, in July when I do my personal scouting report and prediction on many of the players I will get into Jerel in a lot greater detail than I will today. I will say that as much as I like him personally and as a player, he plays from the front. When times get tough (I.E. the Alabama game) he can struggle some. He has to learn to play with the same energy on every play regardless of the game, situation, or what he is facing.

Hondo, what makes Kirk Cousins so good? He isn’t the fastest player, doesn’t always have the best arm, but he wins and is good. Joel

Well Joel, what makes Kirk special is his brain. Like I mentioned with Jerel, I will get into a lot more detail with my personal scouting reports and predictions that come in July, but Cousins is so smart. Does he make some poor choices? Sure, but he stays in it and his brain takes him from good to great. He is a special football player and kid.

Hondo, the May magazine may have been the best yet. Great recap of spring. You mentioned about Max actually being an upgrade. Are you sure that we can lose our best player and have an upgrade? Stan in Hesperia

Hi Stan and let me preface my comments with I am friends with Greg and his parents. This is in NO WAY disparaging of him. What I will say is that I disagree with the premise of your email. Eric Gordon was our best defender in 2010 and replacing him will be exponentially more difficult then replacing Jones. Greg is a great player, but so is Bullough. I believe Bullough will be drafted higher than Greg and will have a better 2011 than Greg did in 2010. I will also say that although we have talent to replace Gordon, his loss will hurt this team.

Hondo, I have read you before and heard you say on TV and radio that spring football is your second favorite sport. Is that being funny or do you really enjoy spring football more than basketball season? Nick

Not a joke at all. I love spring football. There is so much to cover and so much intrigue and frankly, story lines. I enjoy basketball also, but spring football is a great barometer of the fall and is a great sport.

Hondo, have you been able to make a read on Terrance Samuel the new WR coach? What do you think about him? Darrell

Samuel sold me one practice this spring when a WR didn’t hustle in a drill and burst through a hole. He stopped the player and simply made him repeat it. He talked about championship effort every rep. I loved that. He also took time with several players to show them how placing their feet would get them to the corner faster. Those are little things, but major things. He certainly can he excited, but he isn’t a screamer. Guys who don’t do what he wants don’t get reps or get worked to exhaustion. I like it and the guys really like him.

Hondo, I just don’t think Pat Narduzzi is a championship caliber defensive coordinator. Any chance with the problems at OSU Dantonio can upgrade? Chip

Chip, your email reminds me of a great saying. “You can’t fix stupid.” He has already won a championship, and remember that he does go against teams every year that have guys on offense that are on scholarship. The criticism against Narduzzi amazes me and frankly, makes your knowledge of football look like miniscule.

Hondo, you said on the radio show that Mark Hollis’s decision to make the Youngstown State game a night game on Friday brilliant. I have always agreed with you that I hate 1AA teams playing MSU, so what was so brilliant? Marty

He took a throw away game on a bad weekend and made it something special. It is at night, and by putting it on a Friday of a holiday weekend more folks will be part. Hollis once again took lemons and made lemonade. Now, that game has become an event and not something to despise and throw away.

Hondo, with three stud legitimate number one tailbacks in Edwin Baker, Larry Caper and Le’Veon Bell, how does one separate themselves? Shawn

Shawn, that is a great question. We do have three legitimate #1 backs. One of them however, is clearly the #1 and that is Baker. There are no issues.

Hondo, last season you listed LeVeon Bell as the player to watch out for. So who would you say will be the surprise stars in 2011 on offense and defense? Chuck

Chuck, that is so tough because there are so many stars. I will say that Garrett Celek on offense. The Spartan Nation hasn’t seen as much from him and he is 100% and a star. On defense I would say Denicos Allen. He is a one-man wrecking crew and can drill and destroy.

Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the Saturday column. If you aren’t aware, on Saturday mornings I answer some of your email in a Q and A column about Spartan football. If you have a MSU football question you would like answered send me an email at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com